SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - On Monday, two local firefighters were recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty.
The Battalion Chief David Picone lost his hearing but refused to get hearings aids. "My job as Battalion Chief, we have to hear at a larger scene with a lot of chaos going on and sirens and loud engines. The vanity part and the pride was still there," he said.
Battalion Chief David Connor, 33, also lost his hearing. "You have to overcome this stigma of I'm 55-years-old and I need hearing aids," he said.
After struggling on the job, both Battalion Chiefs had to bite the bullet and get hearing help.
"I have to catch that information because it's critical if we are dealing with a fire and firefighter safety," said Connor.
The two men were tested and fitted with the latest hearing aids that even connect to their iPhones like bluetooth.
On Monday, they also received the Safe and Sound Award at the Beltone Hearing Care Center.
"There's a ton of younger people who can and would benefit from today's technology," said Jason Carpadakis, with Beltone La Mesa.
"We are the ones that, you know, go to help people so we aren't necessarily the ones to ask for it," said Picone.
More than 48 million Americans or 20 percent have hearing loss. May is Better Speech and Hearing Month.
Beltone offers free hearing screenings year round for anyone wanting to check their hearing.